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Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

April 8, 2021 at 2:27 a.m.
FILE — Horses and jockeys break from the starting gate at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

LEE'S LOCK Sea of Hope in the second

BEST BET Incorrigible in the ninth

LONG SHOT Heros R Cowboys in the first


MEET 116-334 (34.8%)


••••confident choice•••plenty to like

••things to like•educated guess

1 Purse $27,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $10,000

HEROS R COWBOYS• recorded dull works and two poor races last season at Oaklawn, but he returns fresh with vastly improved breezes. He drew into an unusually weak field. KAT'S HITMAN was forwardly placed in an improved third-place finish, and he is taking a slight drop in price. RISKY SITUATION earned the field's fastest last race Beyer figure in a distant second-place finish, but he has had 12 chances to win.


1 Heros R CowboysCamachoMartin30-1

6 Kat's HitmanCourtHewitt9-2

9 Risky SituationHarrCline3-1

3 Roll Dinero RollQuinonezVon Hemel5-1

11 Storm ClassicEramiaCangemi4-1

2 My Fortunate SonLoveberryMartin6-1

5 Lou's ArrowCabreraMartin8-1

10 Moonshine MomentArrietaDeville8-1

4 Rocket CorredorWDe La CruzMartin15-1

12 My Kinda TetonMoralesRhea30-1

8 Pure IronHebertGonzalez30-1

7 No CussingFDe La CruzDixon30-1

2 Purse $36,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, Claiming $30,000

SEA OF HOPE•••• is adding blinkers after suffering narrow defeats at Keeneland and Churchill, and he is racing for high-percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro for the first time. HANDY finished second at this condition just two races back, and he has an improved chance if the track is still wet at post time. MY BOY GUS led every jump but the last one in a photo-finish defeat. He is back at the same level and is capable with the two-turn experience.


1 Sea of HopeCohenDiodoro3-1

6 HandyArrietaVance4-1

4 My Boy GusRoccoPuhich5-2

7 Paynter PartyCabreraHawley5-1

5 Turn the SwitchVazquezMiller9-2

2 Jacks Fire BallsSantanaVan Berg10-1

3 Draw the LineMoralesHaran10-1

3 Purse $35,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds, maiden claiming $30,000

TITLE SHOT•• was one-paced when overmatched in his career debut, but he is dropping into a maiden-claiming race. He recorded a swift subsequent breeze for a stable that excels with second-time starters. STREET TOLL has raced close to the pace in consecutive in-the-money finishes at this same level, and he drew a favorable post for a sprinter with tactical speed. GALILEE finished second behind a runaway winner in his 2021 debut, and he has a high-percentage trainer-rider team.


7 Title ShotGonzalezCatalano4-1

10 Street TollArrietaHollendorfer3-1

3 GalileeCabreraMoquett5-1

8 TycoonGarciaJones6-1

4 Super BrotherSantanaAsmussen10-1

1 Ash FlatCanchariMorse20-1

2 Master KevTalamoDeville9-2

5 InhealyCourtGlover10-1

9 We Be ThereTohillHartman8-1

6 Stud PuppyQuinonezVon Hemel20-1

4 Purse $28,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up who have never won three races, claiming $10,000

CABERTOSS•• has not raced in 13 months, but he is taking a significant drop in class for a leading stable that wins at a high percentage with horses returning from extended breaks. ALLEN is moving up a condition after a determined victory. He was claimed by winning trainer Mike Maker and picks up the leading rider. DERBY CODE easily defeated conditioned claiming rivals just two races back, and he returns to the conditioned claiming ranks after being overmatched in a starter allowance.


8 CabertossCohenDiodoro5-2

5 AllenSantanaMaker6-1

10 Derby CodeCabreraBarkley9-2

7 TapalistMedinaGladd6-1

3 Have a PlanLoveberryHornsby8-1

4 Uncle GregoryMoralesGarcia15-1

2 Bear OakGarciaHornsby7-2

6 Carte BlancheTorresCox12-1

1 Botswana TapsCanchariBauer15-1

9 Majestic John'sFDe La CruzHaran20-1

5 Purse $36,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $35,000

ENGLANDER•• has contested the pace in three consecutive second-place finishes, and he appears poised to break through for a stable that has been on a roll for the past three weeks. FAY DAN has not raced in 11 months, but he competed on the tough Southern California circuit. He is working well for a winning trainer. TILLIS showed sprinter's speed in his seasonal debut, and he is adding blinkers for his first try around two turns.


5 EnglanderCabreraBroberg2-1

3 Fay DanBowenMcKnight7-2

8 TillisVazquezVon Hemel8-1

2 Mega MaxHarrCates5-1

1 Power BurstCanchariAnderson9-2

7 Pizza CharlieWDe La CruzPuhl6-1

6 Heroic SongMedinaGladd12-1

4 FixationSantanaRussell12-1

9 MurdoArrietaLukas20-1

6 Purse $105,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

FINAL FORM•• was a winner at a higher level at three tracks in 2020, and the front-runner appears to be back on track for new trainer Joe Martin. CROWN JEWEL has shown good speed in a pair of in-the-money finishes at the meeting, and the beaten odds-on favorite has the best of connections. BREAK CURFEW was slowly getting to the winner in a strong and improved second-place allowance finish, and she is speedy enough to be in a perfect position turning for home.


3 Final FormWDe La CruzMartin10-1

4 Crown JewelSantanaAsmussen5-2

9 Break CurfewCabreraHiles7-2

2 Lay M OutCamachoMorse8-1

1 CanduraTorresSadler7-2

5 Miss AntiochEramiaMilligan9-2

6 Shez Stuck UpLopezMcDonnell15-1

8 Cynical GirlLoveberryRobertson8-1

7 DrinkatthecreekMoralesLauer15-1

7 Purse $48,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-old fillies, maiden claiming $50,000

VIVA VIOLENCE•• was compromised by poor behavior at the gate and early traffic trouble in a sixth-place debut. She trains well and has a chance to show dramatic improvement with a drop in class and the addition of blinkers. SHES GOT IT has recorded second-place finishes at Oaklawn and Churchill, and the lightly raced front-runner is a logical contender. CHURCH SERVICE is dropping into a maiden claiming race for the first time, and she is cutting back to what appears her best distance.


1 Viva ViolenceFDe La CruzCox15-1

4 Shes Got ItLoveberryCatalano5-2

7 Church ServiceHarrCline12-1

11 Wild ComboSantanaAsmussen3-1

9 Super SteamyGarciaMaker4-1

8 LivingmybestlifeArrietaHobby6-1

2 Making ProgressVazquezMcKnight15-1

3 She'sskysthelimitEramiaVon Hemel10-1

6 Beauty ContestGonzalezAnderson12-1

5 LofthouseCourtMartin15-1

10 I'm StylinMoralesWilliamson12-1

8 Purse $106,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

W W FITZY•• lost a big lead inside the final furlong in a tough-luck defeat when making her first start for current connections. The seven-race winner is having blinkers removed, and she's an overlay at program odds. ALTA'S AWARD rallied past the top selection in the final yards in her local debut, and the Steve Asmussen trainee was graded stake-placed last spring at Oaklawn. FIRE CORAL finished with energy when fourth best behind the top selection Feb. 11, which was her first race after a long layoff.


3 W W FitzyArrietaContreras9-2

6 Alta's AwardSantanaAsmussen2-1

7 Fire CoralCabreraAsmussen5-1

1 JosieTalamoCox9-5

2 Sara SeaVazquezLukas12-1

5 Singita DreamsGarciaBauer8-1

4 She's All WolfeEramiaVon Hemel8-1

9 Purse $27,500, 1 mile, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $12,5000

INCORRIGIBLE••• has been showing speed in stronger $30,000 races. He is taking a big drop in price and having blinkers removed for a winning trainer-rider combination. ASTROLOGER contested a fast pace before finishing a tired fourth in his return from a long vacation. He was claimed by the leading trainer and has a license to improve under a kinder rating. DAY TRIP ships from Fair Grounds in good form, and the three-time beaten favorite may make amends.


2 IncorrigibleCabreraMoquett3-1

8 AstrologerSantanaAsmussen5-1

10 Day TripTohillHartman9-2

3 RogalloWDe La CruzPuhl12-1

1 Big BizVazquezVillafranco4-1

4 Georgia DeputyEramiaPetalino12-1

11 ReinsureTorresBroberg6-1

14 Digital StarRoccoCash8-1

13 CriticBowenGarcia10-1

7 Shake ItQuinonezJackson20-1

6 Wings UpMoralesMorse12-1

5 Perfect MistakeThompsonDixon20-1

9 Foxy AceCamachoSmith20-1

12 Hard to ParkHarrCline20-1

Exotic possibilities

The first race starts a double, and I like long-shot HEROS R COWBOYS and KAT'S HITMAN, and I'll pair them with SEA OF HOPE in the second race. The sixth race starts a Pick-4, and I like my top three selections. The seventh race is contentious, and I recommend going four deep. I believe my top four need to be put on the ticket in the eighth, and INCORRIGIBLE may be a single in the ninth.


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